Cool Nike ad...
Not that nike needs me to advertise for them, but they have a pretty sweet ad. Check it out.
Cool Nike ad...
Things that make you go hmmmmmm...
Play Time in WV
It was finally time for HPC p/b Altarum team camp last weekend at the Raw Talent Ranch (Lost River Barn) in West Virginia - yay! I was looking forward to this weekend for a while because I've come out here a couple of times before, and I know that life at the barn consists of nothing but loooooong rides, goooood food, and that's it. Perhaps a post ride massage from a team mate if you're lucky. In the pleasure of good company, anything more would have detracted from the experience. J-dub kept us entertained with her crazy adventure tales of what life is like in redneckland (I didn't know that getting bit by a crazed prostitute could hurt worse than getting bit by an crazed dog...now I am wiser.) Bellie and Kristi kept us well fed with their amazing skills in the kitchen (and now I understand why Michelle is starting to get called "Mama" instead of Bellie). Susan kept reminding us to push it HARD on our rides. Jen was fun carpool companion and roomie. Kate kept me "honest" riding hard up all those mountains. And Jay gave me some fine, lung-busting "motor-pacing" on the Saturday ride and is the best tour guide EVER. Because he always tells you that it's much longer to the top of a climg than it actually is. Then you feel like superwoman when you get there sooner than expected, even if it was only because Jay was being generous. It was a gas of a time.
When J-dub (something like 6'3"?) used Bellie's (5'0"?) "woman-specific" (aka - really short) pump, it was highly entertaining. For reference, these black "leg-warmers" that Bellie is sporting, are actually just knee warmers.
The cherry on top of this weekend was finally getting my new team bike, the Specialized Tarmac SL, built up and dialed in in time to test out on the fun, twisty switchback decents in the mountains of WV. Mine is Spanky because she's full of flair. Seriously, she's amazing! I can't believe how fast and tight she corners and how she jumps at just a hint of power. It's like a wild horse just ready to rev. It looks just like any other bike, so I was really surprised that what must be slight changes in the design/geometry could make such an amazing difference in how the bike accelerates and corners. I was a little reluctant to part with riding my trusty old steed, but I'm already over it. I can't wait to try Spanky out in some fast crits!
I WON THE JACKPOT!!!
I hate to brag, but I got the numbers on my bike computer to match up at 111 watts, 111 bpm (heartrate), and 111 rpm (cadence) ALL at the same exact moment during my ride. It was pretty exciting. I'm still waiting to get teleported to some magical fairly-land, or for a leprochon to show up on my doorstep with a pot of gold. I really must win something for that, right? Well, it's a fun game to play anyway, and I'm sure those numbers at the very least create some good karma.
Welcome home, Mama & Papa Paquita!
(Below: their last dinner in Cambodia with some friends.)As I write, my parents are just arriving home and unpacking their bags from a 1.5 year service mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have been eagerly waiting for their return, yet couldn't be more proud of all they accomplished while they were gone. Their main responsibility was to run an employment center, where they did everything but sing and dance in order to help people build skills and find employment. They taught all sorts of classes, started a computer center, taught English, taught computer skills, helped build resumes, and met with many local businesses to find employment opportunities. While these were their full time responsibilities that they volunteered for, my parents are not satisfied unless they are doing everything possible, and ended up serving in so many other capacities as well. They taught piano lessons, assisted with the completion of a beautiful new church building that is a hub and haven for many people there, brought extra love to an orphanage, and uplifted everyone they had a chance to serve. Rob and I had such a great time visiting them there this summer, and it was easy to see how much those we met loved and appreciated them. I couldn't be more proud of you, Mom and Dad! What a way to start out your retirement. What an adventure! Maybe a few relaxing years with us now? Welcome home!
(Above: Pops with a plate of giant spiders. He was brave enough to try eating a leg, but not the entire body. My mom also ate a bite of a leg. During our trip there, Rob also tried eating a leg, and then complained about it being caught in his throat the rest of the day because he didn't chew it enough before swallowing. Our driver ate the whole thing. He said their were eggs in the massive abdomen. We gave him our leftovers. I was the only true wuss who didn't take a single bite.)
Music (a request)
So Lorena is off at a team training camp in West Virginia. I am chilling at home, watching the Dog Whisperer. Cesar sure is amazing. I can already tell that this is going to be a lively weekend! Although, with any luck, my soccer team will get our first win of the season tomorrow (we are 0-2 right now.) Anyway, because the Dog Whisperer has my rapt attention, I decided to update the music on the blog. And while I was searching for songs to put on, I realized that I am starting to become a lame adult because I don't know any cool new bands. Back in the day, when I was hanging with Peter at BC, he would always have great recommendations for bands I had never heard of (Promise Ring is still one of my all time favorites.) Lately, if I ever find new music I like it is because it is usually from a band I already knew who put out a new album, or my buddy Vince hooks me up with some good recommendations. Since Vince is now spending all of his time being a big shot lawyer in San Francisco, he has been slacking on the recommendations (although this is in no way an attempt to call him out!).
So, this post is a request, for you the loyal reader of the lorenanadrob blog:
A. I need some musical recommendations; (and you can use my play list as a good clue as to what I would like, i.e. if you recommend Creed, or someone from American Idol, I will disavow any apparent friendship we may or may not have had.)
And I guess there is only an "A", so I probably didn't need to denote it as such, but I will decline going back and erasing the "A".
In conclusion, please post some recommendations in the comments. Thank you. And yes, Huey Lewis and the News are still the greatest of all time (with Jimmy Buffet being a close second. What am I saying, they are both tied for first.)
Then today, we had a pretty amazing guest speaker at the Potomac School. Last week I saw that Robert Kennedy was scheduled to speak at our school assembly today. Being the history buff that I am, I concluded that it couldn't really be RFK. So I was resigned to this being similar to the time when we had "John Smith" and "Pocahantas" come speak to us. Which made me briefly consider playing hooky. Good thing the better half of my brain reconsidered, because it turned out to be the actual, living Robert Kennedy Jr.. He was brilliant! This is a major perk of living in DC. It was really cool to listen to Bill Clinton speak to us last year, but I left from listening to Robert Kennedy Jr. with my brain abuzz with enlightenment. He was named one of Time's "Heros of the Planet" for his environmental legal work, and has done quite a bit as a "defender of the environment". What spoke to me was his practical way of looking at our personal, economical, and polital ties with the environment, and his convincing argument that what is best for us personally and economically is what is best for the environment. Building our economy and preserving our environment are not conflicting goals. I know this isn't exactly a new idea, but there are so many arguments to the contrary. And I have never heard those arguments shut down in such a convincing fashion. It was so beautiful it gave me goosebumps. I was so moved that I even had the audacity to go right up and tell him so afterwards. It was cool.
I came away feeling totally inspired by Robert Kennedy Jr. on another level as well. He has a vocal disorder known as spasmodic dysphonia (I researched him to find out). You know when you are about to cry or something, and you're "feeling a little verklempt" or slightly strangled? Well, he sounds like that all the time. It was hard to listen to at first. I thought something was wrong. Surely, this great man couldn't possibly sound like that ALL the time. Well, he does. A Great speaker with a serious vocal disorder? Very inspiring. It makes me rethink the things that I allow to hold myself back.
One thing that intimidated me when I moved to DC was the fact that I have never followed politics, and am still trying to find my political identity. I also have a pretty meager education in history, mostly from high school coaches who would rather show movies every day and tell us to read the book, so that they could spend their time thinking up basketball plays, sleeping at their desk, or doing who-knows-what. I didn't mind too much back then, but now sometimes I'm a little embarrassed living in our nation's capital by how little I know about the details of it's history and politics. But people haven't been too hard on me, and now I am finding that there is no better place to learn!
Lorena's on a roll!
I don't know if Lorena will write a race report about her two races this weekend, and I only saw one of them, but I will write up a quick report about how Lorena, aka Lowrider, aka Diesel, aka Loretta, won her race on Saturday and got second in her race today. Her team, HPC powered by Altarum, was rocking it today. They were up front, riding hard, and covering a bunch of moves. Fellow HPC teammate Jenette Williams, fighting a cold but still riding strong, powered through and won the field sprint, with Lorena taking second in a photo finish. Unfortunately, I do not have that photo, so there are no photos accompanying this post. Anyway, the whole team rode exceptionally well - I was very impressed. In Saturday's race (which I did not see), Lorena's teammate Chris Kelly (of the infamous Chris Kelly ride) went on a crazy solo break and was crushing everyone. On the last lap, two girls (from which team, I know not) decided to bridge up. They gave Lorena a free ride up to her teammate, and then the two of them pulled away in the sprint between the four, with Lorena taking first and Chris taking second. So, if you are scoring at home, HPC went 1-2, 1-2, on Saturday and Sunday. GOOD JOB LADIES OF HPC!!!
Since I recently wrote all about how I pooped the bed at the Sequoia Classic Crit (thanks to Anna, I can no longer think of another way to describe a bad race) just a couple weekends ago, I feel fully entitled to now report that I won the Jeff Cup race last weekend. Yay! I had "that day" where everything went smooth as silk mile after mile. Feeling great was a pleasant suprise after getting my lungs ripped out only two weeks ago. Some races I suffer so much that I find myself considering putting a nail through my own tire so that I get to drop out. Nor did the opposite scenario happen, where I've felt fab but then got a flat (like happened to teammate Lesley) or tangled up in a crash. So hooray for good karma last weekend! With a lot of strong & talented ladies out at the race, it was a little like winning the lottery. Fitness, tactics, good positioning, and racing smarts buy you tickets, but that doesn't ever guarentee that your number will be called. Plenty others have a lot of tickets too. It's very multi-dimensional. That is what I love so much about the road racing. Keeps you humble when you win, and hopeful when you don't. There are so many factors that the winning move can be different every time and every race unique. There is no formula. It's both science and art.
From Jim Wilson Images, a picture of some HPC teammates before the race:
Cool pic of Anna cornering (Jim Wilson Images).
My favorite moment of the race was a comment another racer made to me after we passed Rob for the third time around and he was cheering like crazy. She asked me if that was my husband, commented on his awesomeness (with 10 miles per lap of a 40 mile race, it takes a lot of love to watch, especially on a wet/rainy/cold day), and then added "he looks like a high school boy". Ha!
Since there are already so many reports about Jeff Cup out there, I think I'll end here.
Anna's Jeff Cup report - (also see Anna's blog if you have a foot fetish, are interested in buying "well-worn" socks, or just want some good laughs)
the Granderkitten's recap
and many more on Gam Jams